“It’s our first time at Bread&Butter,” says marketing manager Edouardo Ambrosini at Museum’s nicely arranged booth in the former Berlin-Tempelhof airport. “Germany is becoming an increasingly important market for us,” he says, while showing me a display of about 30 jackets that the Italian high-end outerwear maker will be launching next winter.
And Museum is not alone. Last week about 600 exhibitors headed over to Bread&Butter to present their autumn/winter 2014/2015 collections and reaffirm existing commercial contacts or make new retail friends in Berlin and beyond. With Europe's fashion weeks and tradeshows in full swing in January, Bread&Butter remains the one focusing mainly on casualwear. Launched in 2001, it complements Berlin Fashion Week. The three-day fair runs twice a year displaying new designs by mostly European and North American brands broken down into categories: denim, sportswear, street fashion, function wear and casual dressed-up. And if most of the brands on show won’t surpass the high-street-level market (think Desigual and Mavi jeans) we also meet established quality names and big players such as Victorinox, Barbour, Canada Goose, Penfield and Carhartt. Meanwhile Bread&Butter welcomes newcomers such as Detroit-based Shinola – and Museum, of course.
Here are our top picks:
Mostly known for its iconic Swiss army knife, the heritage brand was at Bread&Butter to present its new autumn/winter collection, Rescue, courtesy of artistic director Christopher Raeburn. Inspired by rescue operations in extreme environments, it features a new highlander performance jacket with thermatron lining and water-repellent zippers.
The Italian brand has been making high-quality warm parkas since 1989. Padded with French Moulard down, the Antarctica line remains the best choice for the extreme cold. Colour schemes range from muted olive green to bright red.
A breath of fresh air among the sea of endless hoods and boots on display, the famous heritage saddle brand offered a glimpse of its best saddles and bags that are available now in Brooks’ first ever dedicated store in London’s Covent Garden. Called “B1866”, it opened in December on Earlham Street.
After the recently announced majority stake buy-out by New York private equity firm Bain Capital, the Toronto-based company kept all business talk to a minimum and revealed its new Outdoor Performance collection with a Fusion Fit feature: designed to fit smaller frames, models come with shorter sleeves and jacket lengths.
Merz b. Schwanen
Sticking with its made-in-Germany ethos, Peter Plotnicki’s underwear maker didn’t disappoint with high-quality cotton henleys and T-shirts created in the Swabian Jura.
With exhibitors now busy packing for Capsule New York or the Outdoor Retailer trade fair in Salt Lake City this week, Bread&Butter’s director Karl-Heinz Müller is rumored to be working on a new spin-off in Seoul, possibly coming up next winter. The idea is to bring more Asian brands to Bread&Butter and create greater exposure in the Far East for all its current exhibitors.
Nelly Gocheva is Monocle’s Toronto bureau chief.